This U.S. Navy Combat Bulletin, one of a series of newsreels produced during WWII, was originally labeled "restricted" and only shown to Navy personnel. The film begins with astonishing coverage of a huge air-sea battle fought between the Japanese and U.S. Navy in the Pacific. At 2:54, a damaged F-4U Corsair crashes into the bridge of an aircraft carrier, in some of the most dramatic footage you'll see from the war.
At 4:30, the capture of the German U-boat U-505 is shown near the Cape Verde Islands. U-505 is a German Type IXC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. She was captured on 4 June 1944 by United States Navy Task Group 22.3 (TG 22.3). Her codebooks, Enigma machine, and other secret materials found on board helped the Allied codebreakers.
All but one of U-505's crew were rescued by the Navy task group. The submarine was towed to Bermuda in secret and her crew was interned at a US prisoner-of-war camp where they were denied access to International Red Cross visits. The Navy classified the capture as top secret and prevented its discovery by the Germans.
In 1954, U-505 was donated to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois and is now a museum ship. She is one of six U-boats that were captured by Allied forces during World War II, and the first warship to be captured by US forces on the high seas since the War of 1812.
At 8:30, Nazi leaders are seen making the unconditional surrender of Germany to the Allies, effectively ending WWII in Europe. At 11:16, General Eisenhower announces the unconditional surrender.
At 12:00, the story of the USS Franklin CV-13 is told. The USS Franklin (CV/CVA/CVS-13, AVT-8), nicknamed "Big Ben," was one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy, and the fifth US Navy ship to bear the name. Commissioned in January 1944, she served in several campaigns in the Pacific War, earning four battle stars. She was badly damaged by a Japanese air attack in March 1945, with the loss of over 800 of her crew, becoming the most heavily damaged United States carrier to survive the war. Movie footage of the actual attack was included in the 1949 film Task Force starring Gary Cooper.
After the attack, she returned to the U.S. mainland for repairs, missing the rest of the war; she was decommissioned in 1947. While in reserve, she was reclassified as an attack carrier (CVA), then an antisubmarine carrier (CVS), and finally an aircraft transport (AVT), but was never modernized and never saw active service again. Franklin and Bunker Hill (damaged by a kamikaze) were the only Essex-class carriers not to see active service as aircraft carriers after World War II. The Franklin was sold for scrap in 1966.
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